In a bid to outlaw the use of electronic cigarettes in public enclosed spaces, the Health Ministry tabled a draft bill in Parliament on Friday that equates consumers – also known as “vapers” – to tobacco smokers.
According to the ministry, e-cigarettes are a potential gateway to nicotine addiction as “vaping” is seen to simulate tobacco smoking.
The bill, which adheres to European Union directives regarding the production, marketing and sale of tobacco products, also targets traditional smokers, stipulating the inclusion of warnings on cigarette packets and tobacco pouches with graphic color images depicting the damage done to body organs by nicotine consumption.
The ministry has also compiled a list of the kinds of health warnings to be used on packets, including: “Smoking causes nine out of 10 lung cancers,” “Smoking can kill your unborn child” and “Stop smoking, keep on living for your loved ones.”
Last week, an association representing Greece’s e-smokers denounced the government for preparing the bill without first having consulted with researchers, scientists, former smokers and e-cigarette users.
Vapers insist that by lumping them together with regular smokers, the new legislation denies them the “choice of avoiding tobacco smoke.”